If you’re feeling adventurous, or just want to try eating more offal and adopting a nose-to-tail lifestyle, I recommend this Egyptian tripe stew as a gateway recipe to get you acquainted with the delicious world of tripe! One bonus is that it’s super easy to make, and very cheap if you can get your hands on some tripe.
I would say that tripe is not for the faint of heart. Most urbanised people have never even tasted tripe (if my unscientific, anecdotal survey of city-dwellers is anything to go by). I definitely know that when I was at university in Cairo most of my classmates and friends had never even heard of tripe or kersha as we call it in Egyptian Arabic. I credit my mother for teaching me about the delights of offal and particularly tripe. She grew up in a semi-rural area in the Nile Delta area, where the cuisine is often very different to that of Upper Egypt (the southern half of the country) and is quite different to that of the big monster city of Cairo. In all the years I lived in Cairo, I never saw this served at a restaurant anywhere, and trust me I ate at MANY restaurants in Cairo, from the small street stalls to the fancy, big hotel, five-star joints. I don’t know if any new restaurants have opened up that do serve it; if you know of any, let me know in the comments!
Some people find the idea of eating tripe off-putting; but then again, this blog isn’t for the faint of heart or closed minded types. This is for people who are willing to go on a food adventure with me and explore the unusual, fascinating world of food at its best. If you are a brave food explorer, this is for you! And if you want to eat in a more mindful, sustainable way by honouring the animal that gave its life so you could have nourishment, well, this is also for you. I think the idea of “nose-to-tail” eating is great; however, it’s been around since humans first evolved in Africa. It’s a way of life for people in most parts of the world where every single part of the animal is put to use and nothing is wasted. And as I mentioned elsewhere, I absolutely hate food waste.
With the right treatment, tripe is absolutely delicious. This stew recipe is one of my favourite dishes of all time. It also has some very special memories for me; whenever I’d come home from abroad or on special occasions when I’d visit my aunt, she would always make this for me. Some of my other family members don’t like tripe stew, but my aunt would make it just for me. I miss her and miss those happier, more carefree times. So, I dedicate this tripe stew recipe to my aunt Nadia, I hope she’s doing well.
- Approximately 500 grams or 1 lb of mixed honeycomb and omasum tripe.
- One can of whole Roma tomatoes, with the juice and all.
- One large onion
- Five cloves of garlic
- One teaspoon each of powdered black pepper, cumin, and coriander and 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes.
- One tablespoon sugar
- Salt to taste
- Two tablespoons canola oil
- One can whole chickpeas or two cups of cooked chickpeas
- Half a cup of white vinegar for soaking the tripe before cooking.
- Pita bread to serve.
- Wash the tripe thoroughly with water, then place it in a bowl with vinegar and salt. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes and no more than an hour.
- After the tripe has been soaking in vinegar, rinse it with cold water, then place it in a medium pot with fresh water and boil for 5 minutes. Discard the water and set the tripe aside.
- In a medium-large pot, heat the canola oil, then add the chopped onion and garlic. Sauté until the onion is golden, season with salt and pepper.
- Slice the tripe into bite-size pieces, then add to the onion mixture. Sauté until the tripe starts to brown a little. Add the spices (cumin, coriander, more black pepper, and the chilli flakes).
- Add the canned tomatoes; you can use crushed tomatoes or you can use whole ones. If you use whole tomatoes make sure to break them up with a wooden spoon in the pot as they are cooking. When the mixture starts to boil, add two to three cups of hot water. Mix thoroughly.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat. Allow to simmer on medium low heat for one hour. Serve with fresh pita bread or steamed rice, and enjoy!
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